tunay na pag-asa :)

Hey!

This week was one of the fastest, and I can hardly remember what we did. It was pretty much a normal week, so I hope I can remember something to tell you about.
Well, one thing is that we have started teaching the Ativo family. I LOVE teaching them. There are 8 kids all under 11 years old. We taught them 3 times this week. We even met their dad finally, so maybe he will start joining the lessons! He is just really shy daw (um…his wife said), so he hasn’t joined the lessons, but he has listened in and read everything we’ve left. I love teaching them because there just aren’t a lot of houses with lots of little kids, but this one feels  a lot more like home. The kids all got really excited about prophets because they watch a bible TV show and know a lot of the story. it was so cute to see all these little kids shouting out and explaining the stories of Moses, job, Daniel, David and Goliath…made me a little homesick, but it’s definitely becoming one of the most joyful experiences of my mission.
I will just say again that I love my companion. Sister Lasay is wonderful. We have so much fun and she is a great support when things get hard.
English fail of the week that I didn’t even realize until another American pointed it out to me–we were doing service again in Dupax del Sur, planting guayabano trees, and Elder Hall said, “Hey, do you have trees up there?” and I said, “We have.” and Sister Brown pointed out that we don’t say that in English…we just say ‘yes.” But in Tagalog we say, ‘mayroon,’ or ‘we have.’ now I’ve been catching myself do it a lot, haha.
Well, this week I studied about Hope. I studied the talk, “The Infinite Power of Hope” by Pres Uchtdorf. I have been studying each Christlike attribute for 2 weeks for these last 18 weeks of the mission. it’s been really great. I have learned such powerful new lessons about each one as I have tried to study and apply it more fully to my life.
“Hope is a gift of the Spirit. 4 It is a hope that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the power of His Resurrection, we shall be raised unto life eternal and this because of our faith in the Savior. 5 This kind of hope is both a principle of promise as well as a commandment, 6 and, as with all commandments, we have the responsibility to make it an active part of our lives and overcome the temptation to lose hope. Hope in our Heavenly Father’s merciful plan of happiness leads to peace, 7 mercy, 8 rejoicing, 9and gladness. 10 The hope of salvation is like a protective helmet; 11 it is the foundation of our faith 12 and an anchor to our souls.”
I love what he said that we have to overcome the temptation to lose hope. I think most of the time we don’t even realize that is a temptation. But we need to continue to choose hope , because Christ is the Hope of Israel–which means as long as we know who we are, why we are here, and where we are going in the eternal plan of our Heavenly Father, coupled with an understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ–we can always find a burning, radiant hope to press forward, no matter the circumstances. And I know as we seek Him, trust Him, and find hope, it really does become the ‘anchor to our souls’ (ether 12:4) and we are strong.
I experienced that this week and I know the hope of His light is available to all who will exercise faith in Him and look to Him.
I love you!
Sister Carr
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last general conference! (sa field)

hello!

this week was….insane. haha. A lot of ups and downs, but it kept it interesting, and at least the pinaka-ups (um..the best?)  of the week were a lot of great instruction from our wonderful mission president and then from the prophet and apostles of the Lord. May I just say, I LOVE general conference. It has become so much more personal and meaningful to me as a missionary, and the sessions have never flown faster than this past weekend. I hope I can watch it in the conference center in april. 🙂
we went on splits this week with Sis Mu’hamoholeva and Sister Pace. I went with Sis M 🙂 this is her second area, but she was so great to work with. She has such a positive attitude and great love for everyone she talks to. We found two new potential families to teach, and I felt the Spirit so much while we taught together.
on a different note, I also learned there are lots of eels in the bukids (rice fields) and that they are not dangerous, but people use them for ulam (aka food you put on rice). apparently it’s good, but…that’s one I haven’t tried. apparently someone will be feeding us frog soon. I”m kind of hoping they forget…haha.
we went to MLC (mission leadership council) on wednesday! that is always something I love. We learned about commitments, following up, attitude, and accountability. Here on the mission, accountability has been one of the things I don’t think I ever truly understood before, and has now become something with deep personal meaning to me. Learning about accountability has taught be how to be accountable and how to hold others accountable. it is important on both sides.
This is actually what I felt like the theme of general conference was. I know others felt different themes from conference, but that’s the beauty of it, that the Lord speaks a different message to each of us. For me, it was agency and accountability. probably because I am trying to make a lot of decisions right now. We must learn truth for ourselves, ask for ourselves, choose for ourselves. However, we need to understand that we don’t get to choose what IS right and wrong, but BETWEEN right and wrong, because there is an unmoving, firmly set and eternal standard of morality.
how can we build on a shifting foundation? we can’t. nothing we built would last very long before it would collapse. We must build on a sure foundation, and when we do so, we become strong and we can really make something of our lives.
we need the gospel to be our foundation. we need Jesus Christ to be our foundation. He becomes our strength, He becomes the Way for us to achieve our highest potential.
God gave us the ability to choose. It is a great gift. He trusts us with this, that we will choose who we become, Whom we follow, and what kind of progress we want to make.
“Resenting the law of gravity won’t keep a person from falling if he steps off a cliff. The same is true for eternal law and justice. Freedom comes not from resisting it but from applying it.” (Elder Christofferson)
I know that’s true! We all want to be happy, and we are given the means to choose happiness or misery. it’s always in our hands. and Freedom comes from living the law, not from disobeying it.
so that’s what I learned at conference. I want to be more accountable with my actions, thoughts, desires. I want to make the most out of my life, and I know Jesus Christ is the way. I have felt the power of the Priesthood and the power of the Atonement actively work in my life this week. I have felt the Spirit of the Lord work through me, and felt Him teach my heart. I am a witness of His love, because I have felt it so much this week. And I know that is available for everyone.
I love you!
Sister Carr

ang Diyos ang ating Ama sa Langit :)

hello!

I am really having a hard time remembering what we did this past week!
well one thing was that Sis Lasay and I really wanted to find a family to teach! We made  it our priority the other day and we went out tracting in Purok 6. The first house we came to we said hello and before we had even introduced ourselves they said, “pasok kayo!” come in! and had chairs for us immediately. the lesson was good and we have a return appointment with their family! we are so excited. 🙂
We found 8 new investigators this week! several of them have the potential to progress. we are really excited. the members are getting more and more on board with member missionary work. this area is on the verge of exploding with success. give it a little more time and it will be shining 🙂 I know the Lord sees our efforts and is truly guiding this work.
this week will be super busy and it is going to be sooooo GREAT! 🙂 we have MLC on wednesday, splits on thursday, and we get to watch general conference this saturday and sunday! We couldn’t be more excited to hear from the prophets and apostles 🙂 conference as a missionary is always such a blessing. it is so motivating and I always get a lot of strength that I need to continue on in my calling. I know it is supposed to be that way for each of us, no matter where we are in life. extra counsel, strength, guidance, straight from the servants of the Lord. We are so blessed!
I have learned so much this week how the Lord has individual plans for each of us. Heavenly Father loves us all so much and has our best interests in mind. If we will  seek Him in prayer and always build our trust in Him, we will be happy, and He will guide us in paths of happiness. that path is not always easy, and sometimes it’s really hard, but it will bring the most happiness if we will trust Him enough to endure. I know He is our Father, and He loves us so much.
love you!
Sister Carr

SAM_8417 SAM_8414

Family Week

Family Week

FHE with the Callangan family. :)

FHE with the Callangan family. 🙂

imugan falls :)

kamusta na kayo? medyo nabasa na kami, pero masaya naman!

so we had another great week here in almaguer, and the better news is that I will have at least 6 more weeks here! I am not being transferred so I get to stay here in beautiful nueva viscaya. perfect, because family week is next saturday and it will be a blast down here in the Bambang District.
This week we had a service project in our area, planting Cauayan (which actually means ‘bamboo’) on the side of a river as flood prevention. We were really muddy when we were done, but it was a great project. I think it is a government-funded project, but we were happy to help out the barangays in our area.
best news of the week: brother Nicacio passed his interview and will be baptized on saturday!!! 😀 he has made a lot of changes in his life and his heart is so sincere. even though he is older and can’t remember every bit of the information we taught him, he still met the qualifications for baptism and is so excited to be baptized. Saturday will be such a wonderful day for him, and we love him and are so excited for him!
we are on later today because we had a district activity earlier and visited the Imugan Falls in Aritao. It was a blast and it was so beautiful. I wasn’t able to take pictures, but Sis. Hamblin took a bunch so I will forward them next week when she sends them to me.
If you’re interested in hearing my latest massive english fail, I said this in a conversation last night while we were eating dinner–“yeah, we are all doctorate degrees, and we have every knowledge in the world.” I am going to have to fix this before I come home…
also during sunday school, the Gospel Principles class, we were talking about ‘covenant people” and lineage. Brother RJ was teaching and went from abraham to isaac, to esau and jacob…but if you say esau’s name the ‘tagalog’ way, it’s “isaw” so we were all laughing because isaw is the grilled chicken intestines snack that everyone loves here (including me). language crossover gets better every day.
I’ve really been focusing my study on Christ the past few weeks and I am learning so much. I especially loved my study of the talk on Christ’s Resurrection by Elder Christofferson from last general conference. He truly is risen, and He died and He lived for each and every one of us. I was particularly touched by the story in 3 Nephi  11, where Christ descends from heaven to visit the Nephites. He said, Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.

 11 And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.

at which point He invited them all to come and feel for themselves–to see and know for themselves, that He was real.

Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.

 15 And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.

and they did. 

But the most amazing part of this story is that their experience will one day be our experience, and I know one day, each of us will be invited to come, and see, and feel, and know which every surety, that He is Christ who lived, who died, and who lived again. Truly now we walk by faith–but the day will come when we all know. I pray that will be a joyful meeting for us all. I know He lives and He is our Savior.

I love you all!

Sister Carr

Almaguer! pics after church last sunday.

Almaguer! pics after church last sunday.

almaguer branch--pics after coordination meeting. :)

almaguer branch–pics after coordination meeting. 🙂

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so excited to be comps with itong magandang babae sa isa pang cycle :) one more cycle!!

so excited to be comps with itong magandang babae sa isa pang cycle 🙂 one more cycle!!

the beautiful sisters of Bambang District!!!

the beautiful sisters of Bambang District!!!

Almaguer Branch :)

Almaguer Branch 🙂

tricies to Mebuslo

tricies to Mebuslo

Sister Pace and I on splits :)

Sister Pace and I on splits 🙂

 

this is one of our favorite members...Tatay Tapec!

this is one of our favorite members…Tatay Tapec!

Sis Lasay and I as we waited for the dentist in Echague

Sis Lasay and I as we waited for the dentist in Echague

us with Tatay Tapec and his brother, Nicacio :) the newly baptized!

us with Tatay Tapec and his brother, Nicacio 🙂 the newly baptized!

the divine companionship hiking in Imugan! :D

the divine companionship hiking in Imugan! 😀

divine companionship ;)

divine companionship 😉

bagyo season

hi! haha this is the third time I am trying to write this email because it randomly deleted twice, so I hope I get to send it this time.

this week has been interesting! we got a lot done since we went on splits twice this week.
we got a text on saturday morning saying everyone living in a flood-prone area (us) had to move to a different apartment because there was a signal 2 typhoon that was moving toward our mission. we have been staying with the bambang sisters, and that has been really fun 🙂 the storm hit last night, and the wind and rain was pretty strong, but everything is good now. we didn’t even lose power during the night. the power was out this morning, though, and we weren’t sure if it would go off again, so we are emailing early just in case. hopefully our real apartment isn’t flooded.
we did a service project last week at Mebuslo Elementary school, weeding and landscaping for them. (I love having service every week!) A member in our branch is the principal there. It’s far! It’s like a 30 minute tricy ride from Bambang way out in the rice fields and mountains. It’s beautiful there. We went with our district and got a lot done. I don’t know that missionaries have ever really been out there so it was different and cool to be somewhere that people didn’t really know who we were.
This week I have been learning a lot about patience. I just learned that Christlike patience accepts the will of the Lord and His timing and doesn’t push my desires over His will. Sometimes when we want something to happen or to know something we push and push to get it to happen faster–but with true patience we do what we can at this time and then take it a step at a time until the Lord’s time arrives to give it to us. He just wants us to trust Him. The natural man demands “now,” while the man of Christ is just willing to let the Lord work in His time. That doesn’t mean we don’t do anything–we still have work to do–but we don’t have to push and push our own desires when the Lord wants us to wait.
I love you!
Sister Carr

Hastening the Work of Salvation–it’s a real thing

hello 🙂

we had a great week this week. one highlight is MLC, and the other highlight was the Bambang District Conference held over the weekend. I’m so excited to tell you about everything!
Our MLC was focused on gossip and also about Captain Moroni. It was awesome to learn about Captain Moroni’s example. We will be reteaching the things we learned from MLC in zone meeting tomorrow. I am excited. I know the other missionaries need to hear these things. And Captain Moroni’s example is such a motivator as a missionary! He worked so hard, had such great faith, and never gave up.
17Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men.
what a powerful description! as we study the example of Moroni, we can learn so much about how to become a true disciple of Jesus Christ.
 
So for our District Conference, the main speakers were Pres Rahlf and Elder Ceasar Perez of the Seventy. He. Is. Hilarious. We were invited to the adult session of the conference on Saturday because it’s about hastening the work, and man. I have never attended a more hilarious meeting, yet we learned so much, and his humor made it possible for him to be super bold about what needed to change without being offensive. let me just tell you a few things he said:
-He told the story of Sodom and Gomorrah as related to Bambang. “Experts estimate that the population of Sodom and Gomorrah was about 200,000 people. that is about the population of Bambang. So imagine, if one day, the Lord goes to President Sadueste and says, ‘President, Bambang is going to be destroyed, unless there are 50 righteous people!’ so Pres Sadueste (the district president) goes and gathers all the people and starts counting them off. Kulang–there aren’t enough! So he goes back to the Lord and says, “Lord, pwede 40?” 
–as he is talking about the way the Lord works with us with commandments,  he says, “The Lord knows where all of the gold, oil, diamonds, and everything are in the whole world. He could say to Pres. Sadueste, “President, open your door, walk five steps, and dig a hole one foot deep.” and he does, and he finds one THOUSAND kilos of gold! and the Lord tells him to sell it, and buy all the members of Bambang district brand new Forest Everests, color green, because those members were late to church and now they will have no excuse.’ but the Lord doesn’t work that way! He requires that we learn how to exercise our faith, and He will provide the means for us.
–He also compared using the branch council to the electric fuel injection system found in Toyotas. thanks to Drew Linton, I already knew all of that..but it was hilarious that he compared it to branch council.
 
there was a ton more and I can’t remember. Another funny thing that happened was during the Sunday session. Pres Rahlf was speaking, and he got his glasses out of his pocket to read a scripture. In the process, his nametag fell off and was on the floor behind him. he just kind of left it there for a minute, and both his wife, Sister Rahlf, and Pres Sadueste, the district president, were sitting behind him. Pres Sadueste picked it up and snuck it back up onto the podium for him. without looking behind him, and assuming Sis Rahlf was the one who picked it up, he said, “Thanks, sweetheart.” the whole congregation burst out laughing and he turned around and saw Pres Sadueste…hahaha. so funny.
 
But Elder Perez made so many great points that will really help this district become a stake. the plan will take three years, but the work will really start to hasten here. We as STL’s were privileged to be able to attend District Council with him, and he taught us a lot about what the key components are in becoming a stake. It was so good. I learned so much about how the Lord is hastening His work.
 
Through all of this, and by the end of it, the Spirit testified to my heart over and over again of the truthfulness of this church. This is the Church of Jesus Christ, restored in these latter days. There is so much order. And the Lord cared enough for this small district in Bambang, Nueva Viscaya, Philippines that He sent one of His servants to teach us how to better do the work of salvation and how to become stronger people. Through this, I know He is blessing every one of His individual children here. this will bless all people in Bambang, not just the members. He cares and loves every single one of us. He has never forgotten any of us. He never will. We are precious to Him. This is why He established a church–to create order and means to reach every one of His children and help us on the road home to our Heavenly Father. 
 
“Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.” Isaiah 49:16
 
We are never alone, nor forgotten.
 
Have a great week 🙂
 
Love,
 
Sister Carr
Boodle fight!!!

Boodle fight!!!

Elder Coronel, our AP and one of my mission friends. He is going home in two weeks! We will all miss him! magaling talaga sya!

Elder Coronel, our AP and one of my mission friends. He is going home in two weeks! We will all miss him! magaling talaga sya!

Kapaskuhan Na! (it’s Christmas season…happy September 1!)

hello!

This past week was great! There were many challenges, but also many miracles. Pretty sure every week in the mission is that way. I am grateful for both the challenges and the miracles. I know we need both to really build our relationship with the Lord.
Well, one thing we did this past week was we went to Dupax for a service project in the Elders’ area. We hiked up into this old bukid (rice field) and had to clear a place to plant a bunch of trees. We had to clear it of razor grass, using typical filipino gardening tools–shovels and machetes. It was fun and we had a good time, although razor grass is actually really sharp and I have plenty of cuts on my arms and legs…but it was good and it is great to do service! We have a lot of other opportunities coming up and I am really excited about it. 🙂
We found a couple new investigators last week! When I was on splits with Sis Manosig, we talked to a woman on her porch, and it turns out her husband is from Singapore and speaks English and doesn’t understand Tagalog. So after a few minutes where I was talking to her in Tagalog and she was translating to him in English, I realized I should probably just speak English…but it’s really good. they are awesome people. They are Born Again Christians and have such strong faith in Jesus Christ. They work really hard to help others come unto Christ and gain faith in Him, but they don’t believe there is any one true religion. We were able to go back to them another day, and brother shared some of his new songs (He writes a lot of Christian music) and we learned more about their beliefs. It was cool to hear how they gained their faith. They are true converts to Jesus Christ. We shared with them about the Book of Mormon and testified of how it can bring us to Christ and invited them to read it. we shared part of 2 Nephi 33 with them and the Spirit was definitely guiding the lesson. We also shared Moroni’s promise that if they would study and pray, they would learn of the truthfulness for themselves. We will go back with them today and see if they’ve read. (by the way, we taught in English…it was super weird, but really nice as well, haha)
I love the Book of Mormon! I love reading it and getting answers and learning more about Christ. I know any of our struggles, or any of our doubts and questions can be answered by reading and praying about this sacred book of scripture. I know it was written for our day and was preserved by the hand of the Lord to bless all of our lives today. I have felt the Spirit so strongly as I have read it the past few days. I have felt the light of the Lord’s love more fully because of the Book of Mormon.
Our splits were hard because we got punted all day long, so we tried to OYM (talk to..) every person that we saw in Purok 6. We had some funny experiences while tracting, but it was good, and I love Sis Manosig!
I wish I could tell you every miracle I saw this week. they are countless. they range from money situations to huge answers to prayers. I know the Lord is there and He is leading this mission. Jesus Christ is at our head and He is guiding us and directing us each day. He is my strength and my song, and I am happy to be in His service and to continue to teach and learn of Him each and every day.
sometimes when we are discouraged, we just need to remember His words from D&C 78– “Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you; And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.”
He is leading us! We are never alone.
I love you!
Sister Carr
picture on the bridge in Dupax Del Sur

picture on the bridge in Dupax Del Sur

-Dupax District at our service project in Dupax Del Sur!

-Dupax District at our service project in Dupax Del Sur!